What is more stressful for you: to dwell on a lie that is self-defeating or consider a truth that is life-giving?
LinkedIn Learning recently released statistics on job stress, so let’s use one of these stressors for an example.
One stressor identified by 64% of those surveyed was purpose and direction at work. So ask yourself: What negative thoughts go through your head about purpose or direction when at work? And when you’re ready, try the following steps and see if you don’t experience a shift in your stress level.
1. Write it down.
Select a day you would like to try this exercise, and each time a negative thought pops up, write it down.
2. Lie or truth?
Now look at your list. Ask yourself if your thought is a lie or a truth. Challenge yourself. Really – are you believing a lie? If you are, you are inviting stress. Why believe a lie? Really. Why? Believing the lie is like letting someone throw sand in your eyes while playing in a sandbox and not getting up to move.
3. Challenge the lie.
This step is like doing a sit-up for your brain. Challenge it hard. Push back. Question it.
4. Say a truth in its place.
Replace the lie with a true statement. Write it down. Renew your mind – overcome the negative thought – with a truthful one. Here’s an example:
- Lie: “I have no purpose”
- Truth: “I am in a job today where someone hired me to be here. I have purpose here today.”
Experiment with this practice periodically and see what happens to your level of stress. I’m hopeful you’ll find some relief and become more and more adept at overcoming negative thinking!